What dish first comes to mind when you hear the words “Italian food”? For most, the answer would be something along the lines of spaghetti with meatballs or ravioli, both of which are excellent dishes to indulge in. But consider this: How many people do you think would respond with the answer of Gamberi Diavolo or Veal Piccata? In all likeliness, not many. In America today, it can seem that the only places to get Italian food are large corporate chain-restaurants that can often compromise quality for profit.
For one local Italian restaurant in Columbus, however, the story is different. Not only are authentic Italian dishes prepared there, but eating there becomes more than just going out for a bite to eat. Its warm atmosphere and friendly staff are more than inviting to all guests.
Giuseppe’s Ritrovo is a restaurant that my family and I have gone to for many years, and we have never once been let down by a visit. Owned by Giuseppe Mangano, who was born and raised in Southern Italy, the restaurant never fails to deliver an authentic Italian taste to the table. Recently, after some time of not eating out, we decided to go there one Friday night. As soon as we entered the establishment, the dynamic atmosphere quickly lifted our moods from a long and exhausting week.
Despite having to cope with many pandemic-related restrictions, such as masking, social distancing by spreading out tables, and other additional health guidelines, the restaurant does an outstanding job of making sure that any guest never has a dull moment while enjoying their eating experience, even during such a challenging time.
As a familiar waiter took our drink and appetizer orders, I settled on the decision to get one of my usuals, the “Bella Anita.” This dish consists of several slices of crisp garlic bread accompanied by spicy shrimp, ripe and juicy tomatoes, and fresh arugula salad beneath it all. After devouring our appetizers, we all ordered our main courses for the evening. Feeling adventurous, I decided to order a menu item that I had not previously tried, the “Gamberi Diavolo,” which literally means “Devil Shrimp”, referring to the signature spiciness of the dish. As the name suggests, the dish consists of spicy shrimp alongside spaghetti with spiced marinara sauce, olives, and capers. It turned out to be both a delicious and filling entree, leaving no room left for dessert that night.
Just as we were all about to leave, Giuseppe came over to say hello to us. Since my family has been good friends with him for many years, we often get to speak with him when going out to eat at the restaurant. However, it is not unusual to see him wandering around sometimes, greeting new customers while talking and laughing with the “usuals”. As I left the restaurant in good spirits after a usual 10/10 evening there, I hoped to return soon so I could once again enjoy another outstanding dining experience. If you enjoy authentic Italian food, Giuseppe’s is the place to go.